He died after succumbing to injuries following an attack by rebels during an ambush in the east of Chai Village in Mozambique during an operation.

The ceremony was held at the South African Air Force Base Waterkloof in Tshwane.

Corporal Tebogo Edwin Radebe (31) was killed during Operation Vikela, the SADC Mission in Mozambique, on Monday, 20 December.

During the ceremony, General Rudzani Maphwanya said: “It is touching that one loss of a soldier is one too many. However, we take solace in the fact that our member fell with the boots on. We do know that we train as we fight and during operations there are casualties we sometimes suffer, but we are proud of those who fall in the service of their country.”

According to the statement released by Brigadier General Andries Mahapa, director of defence corporate communication, SANDF members deployed in Cabo Delgado province came under attack from insurgents during an ambush.

“The members managed to fight through the ambush. However, while at the rendezvous awaiting the chopper, they were attacked by the insurgents again. An SANDF member was shot and declared dead on the scene,” said Mahapa.

He said further investigations were being conducted to determine the extent of the injuries of personnel and loss of equipment during the incident.

Thandi Modise, the minister of defence and military veterans, as well as her deputy Thabang Makwetla and secretary Sonto Kudjoe extended their heartfelt condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of the deceased.

Radebe is survived by two daughters, two sisters, a brother and aunt. Details of his funeral will be announced in due course.